Drug Endangered Children: Prenatal Substance Exposure – Why Should I Care?

Prenatal Substance Exposure – Why Should I Care, an eLearning course, demonstrates the dangers of prenatal substance exposure for drug endangered children (DEC) throughout their lives and provides action steps that stakeholders can take to respond to the needs of drug endangered children.

Companion courses offered on the COPS Training Portal include: Drug Endangered Children Overview, Postnatal Risks – How You Can Make a Difference, and You Can Change the Long-Term Outcomes of Drug Endangered Children.


Title slide from the course showing the National DEC logo of five large hands reaching for one small hand.

Arizona POST Approved Course
AZPOST Approval 22-338
AZPOST does not require the standard approval form for this course; however, if you would like one, please contact AZPOST directly at [email protected].

Course Overview

Prenatal substance exposure has the potential to cause a variety of physical and developmental challenges for drug endangered children throughout their lives. The content outlines the part individuals play in identifying children who are at risk, how to begin the earliest possible intervention while in utero, and understanding one’s ability to change the trajectory of the child’s life. Intervention begins by starting a conversation using interviewing techniques and providing resources and sharing information with community partners. For more information on drug endangered children, please contact National DEC National DEC at https://nationaldec.org.

Target Audience

Law enforcement, first responders, and child welfare, medical, legal, and education professionals.

Cooperative Partners

This tuition-free online training was developed by National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (National DEC) and was originally supported by cooperative agreement 2017-CK-WXK-008 by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the effects of maternal substance use or exposure to drug activity during pregnancy
  • Recognize the importance of early identification and intervention in changing the trajectory of a child’s life and breaking the intergenerational cycle of abuse
  • Select appropriate techniques to engage in conversation with prenatal subjects
  • Provide prenatal subjects with information about resources available to them in their community
  • Recognize the essential elements required for a multidisciplinary collaborative response to meet the needs of drug endangered children
  • Choose appropriate next steps to take after completing this module

CheckDEC App Information

Check out the free CheckDEC app designed for iOS (Apple) and Android mobile devices in both English & Spanish. The CheckDEC app along with companion website www.checkdec.org is designed to provide help, hope and support for victims, survivors, professionals, and community members. Download CheckDEC by visiting the app stores or the CheckDEC website.

National DEC also provides both virtual and in-person opportunities to build capacity, increase knowledge and awareness, implement promising practices, develop skills, etc.…all to help professionals change the trajectory of children’s lives. For more information about National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children training and technical support contact [email protected].

National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (DEC)

The National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (National DEC) exists to help make a difference in the lives of children who are living in dangerous drug environments.